Monday, February 11, 2013

e.l.f. Haul and Review

Happy February!
In January I was browsing E.L.F's website and saw that they were having a free shipping promotion.  My only qualms about buying e.l.f products before was that I would be paying for shipping, which would make the less expensive e.l.f. products essentially the same price as other drug store brands.  Without shipping costs though, I was able to get TONS for only $15!!

I ended up with some great products and a few that are mediocre...but for $15, a makeup lover with a budget is VERY pleased :)  Here is a list of products I ordered and the prices I paid:
Studio Endless Eyes Pro Mini Eyeshadow Palette in Everyday

Essential Waterproof Eyeliner Pen in Ash
Two Shimmer Eyeliner Pencils in Gunmetal and Plum Passion
$1 each
Essential Smudge Brush
Plumping Lip Glaze in Plum Pout
3 Piece Nail Polish Set in Vacation Trio
Matte Finisher Clear Nail Polish

I'll start with the products I wasn't super pleased with.  The Matte Finish polish seemed like it would be great.  

I have seen pins all over Pinterest about the trend of matte finish nail color so I was pretty excited to find it for 2 bucks.  I painted my nails after shooting these (great quality....) photos with the dark red color from the Vacation Trio then decided to try one nail with the matte topcoat.

 As you can see (maybe...sorry, used iPhone camera) the matte polish did some crazy crackle like effect on my nail.  At first I was pretty sad, but then I was okay with it and thought the texture was kind of cool, so I painted every nail like that for the texture.

I think my issue was that I used the top coat before the red polish was completely dry.  I plan to try it again and making sure its dry next time.

With that being said, I LOVED the red polish from the Vacation trio set.  the kit also came with a mint green and a lavender shade that look awesome.

 On to the next one that didn't really blow me away....the Waterproof Eyeliner Pen.

The pen has a great tip that is super small on the end.  At first, when I swatched it the color was a rich charcoal and I thought I would LOVE the product.

I've tired it several times with the same results each time.  The pen works great for the first line when I start out lining my eyes, the top lid on my right eye (where I always start) glides on smoothly with good pigment, but when I get to my waterline, it takes more effort to get color out of the pen, like it is running out.  Then when I go to my other top lid, it is nearly impossible to get it to draw.  Lining my left waterline is like pulling teeth!!  I don't really understand the problem with this pen.  It is definitely not out of ink, as the first line I draw each time goes on great.  Its really strange...I do, however, really like the staying power.  They mean it when they say waterproof.  My lower lid line on the waterline doesn't budge, which I love.  I wish it was easier to make pigminted lines each time though.  I also really like the tip.  Its small and easy to make a thin line.  I have used it to make a "guide" for black liquid liner and it does really well here since I don't really need a dark line if I'm going to draw over it.  All in all, I probably will steer clear of this one in the future, even though at the bargain price of $1, I've gotten what I paid for.

Now, the products I have enjoyed!!

I have really liked the shimmer eyeliners.  As you can see (maybe...) from my picture, and definitely from the pic on e.l.f.'s website, these pencils are wooden, but they conveniently come with a sharpener built in to the cap.  I chose the gunmetal because I have brown and black liners already.  I like darker liner but I also LOVE LOVE LOVE variety in my looks.  I would be that I wear a different eye look daily and don't repeat a look for several days.

I am a "brown eyed girl" so the plum wasn't a difficult choice for me.  I usually do a look with neutrals, purples, or greens.  I haven't used the plum yet, but I am wearing the gunmetal color today.  Its not super dark, but I chose a look today with a gold lid with rose-gold crease darkened with matte black in the v-crease and it compliments it well, allowing my dark lashes to silhouette against the bright gold in the shadow.  I am usually not a wooden pencil girl, I love twist up liners that are soft and glide on easily, but I went for these because of the price.  I love them and would definitely recommend them.  The sparkle is also great.  Like I mentioned, I love variety in my makeup options, and these are such a fun option :)
In the swatch above, the waterproof pen in Ash, then the shimmer pencil in gunmetal, and finally the shimmer pencil in plum.

Another good product from this haul that I've used frequently since my stash came in has been the plumping gloss.

It has a tingly feeling when applied that reminds me of mint mixed with Vick's vapor rub.  I LOATHE cinnamon so I was apprehensive about this gloss because all of the plumping products I have used in the past were cinnamon flavored.  This one has no cinnamon flavor! The directions on the gloss packaging recommended using the clear gloss under the colored gloss.  I love the look of these, together and separately.  They feel neat and make my lips feel plumper, even if they don't look all that different.  I like this product and I would buy it again.  The color is kind of sheer though, so if you're looking for extreme pigmentation, look elsewhere.

And now for my two FAVORITES!!
The 32 shade palette is AWESOME.  There is a big variety of matte, shimmery, and glittery shades.  I have really enjoyed the multiple looks I have been able to get from the palette.  The packaging really impressed me first of all.  The plastic is thick and durable and the mirror in the palette is large.  I expected it to feel much cheaper because of the low price.  I don't love the organization of colors, because I don't really understand how they decided on the arrangement of colors because they don't seem to flow from lightest to darkest or anything.  Otherwise, I have really loved this palette.  I have used it everyday since I got it.  

I have especially enjoyed the matte black (I outlined in yellow).  It has been great to darken my v-crease and make some night-out looks.  This is my first time actually using black shadow with any confidence and its been great.  Also, the goldish-bronze shade I outlined in green is good for neutral eye looks.  I've used it for the lid and the crease with success.  The shade right below that one, that I outlined in blue is a rose-gold shade with some sparkle in it.  I am wearing it now and I love it.  It is GREAT for bringing out brown eyes and I am sure it is a good color for any eye.  I usually use this for the lid, but I opted to use it in the crease today, and I'm loving it so far.  The shade outlined in red is a really glittery shadow.  It isn't super pigmented but it adds a TON of sparkle.  Its a neutral gold and it is unlike anything I've ever used.  The only thing I wasn't sure about at first with this shade is that there is a lot of glitter fallout, but it kind of lights up the whole eye area, and when I finished the look, I liked the added shimmer.  Last but not least, the white shade I lined in purple, is a shimmery highlight that I've used almost daily to highlight my browbone and the inner corner of my eyes.  LOVE LOVE LOVE this shade.

 Now for my other favorite, and something I've used daily since it came in the mail...The crease brush.  It is great for getting shadow right where you want it because the bristles are short and dense.  I have used this for the crease as well as putting shadow under my lower lashline.  I would have paid up to $10 for this awesome brush so for $1 is has been amazing!!

Hope you enjoyed this haul/review post.  I love makeup, so as my (limited) budget allows, I will continue to post them from time to time.  Have a great day!